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BCH History

Focusing on a Healthier Community, for Nearly a Century

Our Beginnings

statue on grassDid you know Boulder’s first hospital was a teaching hospital built in 1889 on the University of Colorado campus? In 1920, the university decided to move its medical school to Denver. To ensure local residents would retain access to top-quality health care, a group of 26 forward-thinking local doctors bought the Ben Hagman residence at Broadway and Alpine and converted it into the 15-bed North Boulder Hospital.

Nearly two years later, the property was sold to the community. On April 19, 1922, the Community Hospital Association was incorporated as a “not for profit” organization.

Our Growth: A Timeline

Since 1922, we’ve grown from a small-town hospital to a regional health care network with locations—from physician clinics to urgent care centers—across Boulder and Broomfield counties. We’ve grown alongside our community, driven by a dedication to increase access to the highest quality care for all Boulder Valley residents.

old home1926. A brand-new Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) building with 45 patient beds is dedicated.

1955-1974. Ongoing fundraising efforts allow our hospital to expand. By 1974, BCH hosts 172 beds, has admitted 200,000 patients, and treats more than 14,000 Emergency Department (ED) patients annually.

1978. The BCH Foundation is established, consolidating fundraising efforts.

1985. Community Medical Center (CMC) opens in Lafayette.

1987. The Miriam R. Hart Radiation Therapy Center opens.

1989. BCH acquires the 93-bed Boulder Memorial Hospital at 311 Mapleton Avenue and renames it the Mapleton Center.

1992. The 18-bed Tisone Family Cancer Care unit opens.

1994. A new Medical Pavilion to house physician offices replaces the hospital's old South Wing.

2000. BCH builds a new 50,000-square-foot facility to house a greatly expanded CMC.

2003. BCH builds Foothills Hospital. The 200,000-square-foot facility has 60 beds, a 24-hour ED, an intensive care unit, surgery, radiology, and laboratory services. Upon opening, Foothills becomes the first hospital in the U.S. to win LEED certification, recognition of its groundbreaking, environmentally responsible, resource-efficient overall design.

2006. The 24,000-square-foot Tebo Family Medical Building, a state-of-the-art outpatient treatment center for cancer patients, opens on the Foothills Medical Campus.

2009. BCH purchases the Medical Imaging Center in Broomfield to increase local access to imaging services.

2010. BCH opens Buffalo Ridge Medical Center in Broomfield, providing East County residents with convenient access to internal medicine physicians and lab and imaging services. BCH leadership also initiates a 10-year development strategy to centralize services and expand local health care resources.

2013. BCH opens Anderson Medical Center, the first phase of our development plan. The 46,000-square-foot medical office building on the Foothills campus houses premier cardiology services, physician specialists and a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center.

2014. Boulder Community Hospital adopts a new name—Boulder Community Health—to better reflect our evolution to a regional health care network with locations spread across Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Late 2014. Foothills Hospital expands, adding 110,000 square feet of clinical space. Most of our inpatient acute-care services move to the Foothills Medical Campus.

2015. Our Mapleton campus is vacated and sold, part of an ongoing effort to consolidate patient services at or near the Foothills campus.
Late 2015. The city of Boulder agrees to purchase BCH’s 8.8-acre Broadway campus, including the hospital campus and additional properties nearby.

2016. To continue increasing access to quality care that’s available when Boulder Valley residents need it most, BCH opens Gunbarrel Urgent Care.

Late 2016. Boulder’s City Council approves BCH’s plans to build a new three-story, 70,000-square-foot clinical building and adjacent parking garage just east of the Foothills campus in the Riverbend Office Park. The new facility will house Inpatient and Outpatient Behavioral Health, Inpatient Rehabilitation and clinic space.

2017. BCH opened a new Emergency Department at Community Medical Center in Lafayette open 24 hours a day/7 days a week, staffed by board-certified emergency physicians with full laboratory services. In 2017 BCH broke ground on a second Urgent Care Center in Superior with a third location planned for Erie in 2019.

2019. BCH opened the Erie Medical Center, a 40,000-square-foot multi-service medical facility that offers family medicine, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, midwifery, urgent care, lab and imaging services. Additionally, BCH relocated all outpatient pediatric rehabilitation services to the Erie Medical Center in April of 2019.

2019. BCH opened the Della Cava Family Medical Pavilion, an innovative, 70,000-square-foot mental health facility. The $45 million state-of-the-art building features 18 private rooms for adult inpatient care, an outpatient counseling center and electroconvulsive therapy—all within a beautiful, nature-inspired building innovatively designed to enhance wellness and recovery.

2019. BCH closed its medical campus at Broadway and Balsam. The campus included the aging Boulder Community Hospital, which opened in 1926, and additional nearby properties. It was turned over to the City of Boulder, which purchased the property in 2015. The closing marked the end of relocating all clinical and business services to newer, up-to-date facilities that are more conveniently located for citizens across Boulder County.

As Boulder County’s population continues to expand, Boulder Community Health is working to add additional medical facilities and resources to meet the needs of these fast-growing local communities. Stay tuned for updates!

COVID-19 Vaccine Plan

Boulder Community Health offers the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. People age 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. You can self-schedule appointments using the free MyBCH patient portal. Learn more about our vaccination process on our general vaccine information page.

For updates related to COVID-19, please see our COVID-19 page.